Category Archives: Obamacare

Republican-Convention

Republican National Convention. Cleveland Rocks!

The Republican National Convention was recently completed.  It ran from 18 – 21 July and took place in Cleveland, Ohio; formerly known as the ‘mistake by the lake.’  There were many interesting facets to this convention.  Some good.  Some not so good.  One of my big concerns is that Grandma P has become a political junkie.  She watched more speeches during this convention than she has watched totally in the first almost 30 years of our marriage.    She maybe missed 90 minutes of the convention.  Should I be concerned?

Anyway, it is always more interesting to talk about the negative facets first, so here we go!

NEGATIVES

Do you realize how much money a convention brings into the hosting city?  It is in the tens of millions of dollars and the competition to be the host city is only exceeded by a city wanting to host the Olympics or a Super Bowl.  So, with the convention being in Ohio, where was the governor of Ohio, John Kasich?  Oh, I remember, he was one of the many participants in the Republican debates that swore they would support the eventual Republican candidate.  So much for your word, Mr. Boob.  You did not even have the decency to appear and welcome the delegates to your state.  You are only the first of many people that went contrary to ‘your  pledge of support.’

Ted Cruz.  What more can be said about a sore loser whose ego is barely eclipsed by the size of the state he represents.  That would be Texas.  Rather than show anything that approached denoting party unity, the wienie took his opportunity to extol his virtues, without endorsing Trump.  He was rightfully booed off the stage.  The next morning, he was speaking to the Texas delegation and was asked very pointed questions as to why he did not endorse Trump, the Republican candidate, as he had pledged.    Again, it was back to his principles and he was a master at ‘politcal speak’ in that his answers chewed all around the cookie without having to take a bite.  It was obvious it was all about him.  Never mind what is good for the country or what the electorate wants.   My respect for wienie Cruz has declined into negative numbers. (Is his ego so large as to run as a third party candidate just to defeat Trump and hand the victory to Clinton?)  Ted is lucky he has two more years to his term as senator, or he probably would have lost an election this fall.

Jeb Bush.  Another of those people that pledged support to the Republican candidate that just could not find the time or effort to attend the convention or even make a statement about party unity.  Quite honestly, he was not missed.  Jeb always seemed to be out of touch with what was important to the electorate, anyway.

The two people I am rather disappointed with are George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.  As the two former Republican presidents, they could have at least made some statements via video to support the party principles and bury the hatchet about the divided party by at least wishing Trump well in his upcoming campaign.  I like and respect both of those gentlemen, and it would have been my hope that they would have risen above the butt kicking their brother/son took during the primaries and shown some interest in the political party that got them both elected.  I do not remember any former presidents shunning the following party conventions such as the Bush’s have done.

After Trump’s speech on Thursday evening, Texas billionaire Mark Cuban went into warp drive tweeting his dislike for Donald Trump, referring to him as stupid and lazy.  What is it with these Texans?  Ted Cruz, the Bush’s, and now Mark Cuban?  Just because you lost the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, doesn’t mean you should carry a grudge for almost 200 years!  Just because Trump is not from Texas, doesn’t mean he can’t be president.  So here are my words for all four of you…..“GET OVER IT!”  Do any of you four believe the country and world would be better off with President Hillary?  Mark Cuban supported Trump until a few months ago.  What happened?

POSITIVES

I was very impressed by the quality of the majority of speeches given during this convention.  Yes, there are always a couple of marginal speeches, and some were clunkers, but the vast majority were very, very good.  Did you notice how many of the speeches were given by minorities and women?

Newt Gingrich.  Some of the speeches were beyond excellent.  Newt Gingrich gave an excellent speech.  I wish my college professors were as good as Newt.  I may have gotten better grades if they were.  He laid out the difficulties our country and the world will be facing because of Islamic Muslim extremists.

The Trump Children.  I would not know how to pick the best speaker from the four Trump children that gave speeches.  Not only were the speeches outstanding in content, they were delivered to near perfection.  Donald, Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany all did an absolutely wonderful job.  If the children are truly a reflection of the parents, then I would say that Donald Trump has done an excellent job of parenting.

Melania Trump.  Another great speech by another Trump.  But almost as soon as it was completed, the Democrats started yelling ‘plagiarism,’ as 58 out of the 1400 words were similar to a speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008.  With all of the things that have happened recently, this is the what the Democrats focus on?  I would say that criticizing this speech as a part of what all is taking place in this country and the world is a clear indication of ‘pole vaulting over mouse turds’ by the Democrats.

Make America Safe Again.  Make America One Again.  Make America Great Again.  I don’t know what adviser came up with these slogans, but they pretty much framed the content of all the speeches given during the convention.  I believe all of these issues are important to the electorate. With the latest ambush of the police, with the latest terrorist attack, and with the largest racial divide occurring in this country during my lifetime, how could the electorate not be concerned about these issues?

Donald Trump.  I will give Trump an A for the content of his speech, but only a B+ for delivery.  As Grandma P pointed out, there were times when it appeared he was screaming.  (I noticed it, also.)  But Donald is a very passionate man, and it is obvious he believes the United States is heading in the wrong direction because of the policies of the present administration.  I agree with him.  He is not a professional, lifetime politician who makes large group speeches for a living and for contributions.  I find that to be an asset rather than a liability.  If he is elected, he can scream all he wants if he can correct those passionate issues.

The Party Plank.   I thought the Republican National Committee did an excellent job of framing the issues and direction of the party.  By tying the slogans with the content of the speeches, a viewer would definitely see the direction that the Republican party is taking.  Background checks for immigrants.  Check.  Second Amendment rights.  Check.  Border Security.  Check.  Reducing the national debt.  Check.  Creating jobs.  Check.  Placing citizens before immigrants.  Check.  Assuring citizen safety.  Check.  Support the police.  Check.  Rebuild the military.  Check.  Did I miss anything?  Probably.

Democratic Critique.  Now that the convention is over, Hillary and her media machine have framed the convention as nothing but ‘doom and gloom.’  Just like Chicken Little, the Republicans have been accused of promoting ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling!’  Even though I find this somewhat amusing, I believe the issues brought forth at the convention were brutally honest about situations and conditions that need to be addressed and corrected.  Democrats apparently do not want to face these issues and continue to portray the world and our country as if everything is just hunky-dory. This is disturbing as it would be my hope that the two parties would come together to resolve some of these various, serious issues.

So there you have it, readers.  My assessment of the Republican National Convention was that I was seldom bored and it was done very professionally.  The speeches were, if not perfect, very informative.  There have been accusations that Donald Trump is not a conservative.  I cannot even fathom how that could be proposed after watching this convention.  One political pundit said it was one of the most conservative conventions he has ever witnessed.  I agree.

If Donald Trump gets elected and is able to do half of what was proposed at this convention,  the country will indeed be heading in the right direction.

Trump

The Late Republican Party. Suicide By Stupidity!

There has been much political speculating that the Republican party will not survive if Donald J. Trump is the Republican nominee for POTUS.  I have been mulling this over and I have come to the conclusion that maybe the Republican party should not survive, and here are my reasons.

Two years ago, during the last mid-term election, the voters of America once again gave control of the House and the Senate to the Republicans.  That election should have been taken as the ‘warning shot across the bow,’ indicating that voters were no longer satisfied with the status quo or the Obama administration.  My initial thoughts were that at least, with both houses controlled by the Republican party, a set of brakes would be applied to stop the Obama insanity.  What have they done?  They were elected to overturn Obama Care, and they have not done that.  (Yes, I understand that Obama would veto anything concerning his health care program,   More on that later.)

We got rid of the gatekeeper from hell, Harry Reed,  as senate majority leader, and actually submitted and voted on budgets for the first time of the Obama administration.  Are those budgets being followed?  Are they cutting costs, eliminating waste, and reversing the spiraling national debt?  No. No. And No.

What has this Congress done?  From my viewpoint, Obama has forged ahead with all of his crazy ideas.  We elected that Congress to protect its citizens.   We elected that Congress to straighten out the financial mess that this country faces.  Why do we have this Congress, and all of the expenses of supporting it….if they don’t do anything?

With the Republicans in control of both houses, I blame them.  It has become obvious since the beginning of all those Republican presidential debates that the Republican party has lost contact with the average, conservative American.  Rather than listening to what the average American is concerned about which caused the Republicans to gain control of Congress, apparently they are too stupid to have read the tea leaves, or, they are so self-serving they just don’t care.  The perfect paragon of this was Jeb Bush.  Two years ago, he was the ‘golden boy’ of the Republican party.  He was known, and he was a dynamic fund raiser.  But how well did he do in the debates?  It was obvious that Jeb, much like the Republican party, had underestimated the concerns and anger of mainstream America.  Gun control.  Border security.  Immigration control.  Job creation.  When Jeb was talking, if you would have shut your eyes, it would have been difficult to tell which party he represented.

And there is one more very big thing that both parties have underestimated.  People are tired of the status quo, and they are really becoming tired of career politicians.  It was refreshing to see three non-political career people in the debates:  Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump.

Now here we are with less than two weeks before the Republican national convention.

Dump Trump!  Anyone but Trump!  Trump Sucks!  There is no shortage of this, and unfortunately, much of it is coming from career Republican politicians.

Here are three possible scenarios for the convention.

1.  Attempt to undermine the delegate process and replace Trump with another candidate.  

Now you would think that if your apparent front runner brought out more voters to vote in the primaries for one candidate than ever before in the history of the United States, your party would be ecstatic.  Obviously that is not the case.  There has been much talk about attempting to sabotage the delegate procedure and put someone else in, rather than Trump.  Who would they get?  That smooth talking Mitt Romney, who has gone out of his way to back stab and denigrate Trump at every possible opportunity?  His little tirades are so despicable that I am sorry I voted for him in 2012.  I would not vote for him in 2016.  Many Americans who voted for Trump during the primaries would not vote for someone else if they feel their wishes have been cast aside.  If this were done, for sure Hillary Clinton would be voted in as POTUS.

I have to admit that Trump has kind of been my guy from the beginning.  I don’t have his hats or bumper stickers or have my lawn covered with his signs.  When asked if I support Trump, my answer has always been the same, “Donald Trump may not be who you like, but he may be what this country needs.”

This is similar to the Rush Limbaugh approach.  During the debates, one Cruz supporter called his show and wanted to know why Limbaugh had yet to attack Donald Trump.  Rush’s response was priceless.  “I will not attack anyone who has a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.”  That attitude should have been adopted by the Republican party.

2.  Run someone as a third party candidate.

This option gives me nightmares!  It brings to mind the 1992 election when Ross Perot ran against George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  Bush was seeking his second term.  Perot, an egocentric conservative decided to enter the race.  The end result?  Bill Clinton won the election with only 42% of the popular vote.  58% of the country voted conservative, but the liberal won!

Just think.  If it weren’t for Ross Perot, we may never had heard about Bill or Hillary Clinton.

Anyway, this is the worst possible scenario for the country.  If some established Republicans decide this is feasible, they obviously don’t care what happens to this country.  Hillary Clinton would win handily if the conservative vote is again divided.

3.  Support Trump.

It would be about time for the Republican party to step up and support Trump financially and morally.  He did not win so many delegates by mistake.  There is no mistake about what he is thinking.  He may not be as eloquent as Reagan, Kennedy or FDR, but everyone understands what he is saying.

Paul Ryan has played patty cake politics with his lukewarm, milk-toast attitude.  So hear is a word of advice to Paul and all of the other backroom schemers concerning this convention:  Support the people’s candidate….or be prepared to suffer the people’s wrath at the polls!  

Mr. Ryan, you are the speaker of the House of Representatives because the people entrusted the Republican party to right this floundering ship of state.  If you or the party decide to pull any underhanded shenanigans in this convention, you will not be speaker after the election, and you may not be a representative.

You gained control of Congress to repeal Obama Care.  Will you accomplish that with Hillary Clinton as President?  You gained control of Congress to provide security to the people.  Will that occur if Clinton continues with Obama’s policies?  Closing borders, and vetting immigrants are a top concern of the average American.  Have you kept track of the number of murders being done by Islamic terrorists in our country and in other Western countries?  Will anything be done about this if Hillary is President?  The Liberals look at an open border as providing more potential voters for the Democratic party.  How about the national debt?  If people think it is a difficult economic environment now, what would happen if the US basically goes bankrupt like Greece.  Like Spain.  Like Italy.  All Western countries whose socialistic policies have created a unmanageable burden because the governments were too weak and unwilling to address the overspending.  Do you think this would improve with Hillary as president?

I am definitely tired of living under an administration where the cops and the military are the bad guys and the black thugs are the heroes.  Is this what Obama meant when he said he was going to ‘bring the country together?’  This country has never been so divided!

So, Mr. Ryan and all you career politicians that appear to be quaking because a non-career politician may see just how deep the cesspool is in Washington, D.C; I suggest that it is time to quit worrying about how you are going to be reelected, and begin doing what is right for this country.  If the Republican party does not unite to defeat Hillary Clinton, then the United States will suffer and the Republican party may very well disappear because of stupidity, timidity and internal bickering by self-centered, power hungry bureaucrats.  Is this what the Republican party wants as its legacy?

Like I said earlier, “Trump may not be who you like, but he may be what this country needs.”

Make American Great Again.  Amen.

PS.  This blog was written the afternoon before the shooting of eleven police officers in Dallas, five of them fatally.  My heartfelt condolences to the families of these policemen that were murdered by snipers in a coordinated attack during a protest.  Some of these officers were standing in support with the protesters.

Decisiveness

The Fable of the Tortoise and the U.S.

I am amazed at how quickly some issues can be resolved, seemingly faster than the Starship Enterprise at warp 9.  Alternately, I am also amazed at how slowly some issues get resolved.  These issues move more slowly than a centipede in maple syrup.

As I am writing this, there is all kinds of terroristic turmoil taking place in Paris.  As you are likely aware, there was a very well planned attack executed on a French magazine.  Their crime?  They (the press) had the audacity to exercise free speech and to make cartoons that satirized the Islamic religion.  (This is very similar to the Danish cartoonist that is still under 24/7 security protection for cartoons he drew ten years ago!  This was discussed in a previous blog.)   Three shooters entered the magazine publishing offices and killed a dozen innocent people.  They obviously had training, as they were quick and precise in their attack.  The hub-bub on TV now was that two of the attackers had taken hostages in one location, while one of their sympathetic friends took hostages at another location:  a Jewish deli.  Two hostage situations at the same time within 24 hours after the initial attack on the magazine.  What a nightmare for French security forces!  Ultimately, the three gunmen were killed, but sadly, hostages at the Jewish deli were also killed.

The point is this, the French security apparatus moved quickly and decisively in handling these situations.  Although innocent lives were unfortunately lost during the assault, the rapid security efforts should be commended as both decisive and timely.

Need an example of a slow response situation for comparison?  Remember Benghazi?  Oh yes, we all suffer from short term memory on occasion.  On this occasion the American ambassador in Libya came under attack.  The compound that he was occupying was attacked by a group that was a little too organized to be a random crowd of displeased Libyans.  This was the initial report from Washington.  The attack took place because disaffected Muslims were upset about some movie.  Yeah, right.  Another DC cover-up.  Unfortunately, this was a very feeble attempt at a cover-up.  The real story is that this attack, which took place on September 11, was conducted by a militia that was originally organized to combat Gaddafi.  The Ambassador to Libya, another embassy employee and two former special forces personnel were killed during this attack.  The U.S. response to the attack?  There wasn’t a response.  No attempt was made by our government to save our citizens in Libya.  Rumor has it that the military had a reaction force and airstrike on the way, but were called back at the insistence of then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

A quick French security action versus a slow, non-action on the part of the United States.  Who would have thought that?

Need another example?  Recently, the computers were hacked at Sony.  This hacking allegedly took place because Sony was going to release a movie entitled The Interview.  The plot of this movie included the assassination of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un.  Consequently, some group calling itself the Guardians of Peace hacked personal information of various actors and actresses and intercompany messages with the warning that the movie should not be released.  Supposedly, over 100 terabytes of information were stolen from Sony.  I have difficulty fathoming a terabyte, but it sounds like a boatload of information to the average person.

Anyway, when personal emails were released, that is when the proverbial defecation hit the ventilation.  Someone had the audacity to say that Angelina Jolie was a ‘spoiled brat’.   Other personal messages mocked the POTUS for being black, even though the ‘mockers’ were significant Democrat supporters.   But it was amusing to an outsider like me to see that no one was really concerned about the hacking of the Sony computers until the comments about Angela Jolie became public. 

We have an example of two quick responses to a situation.  The first decisive and quick action was by the hackers.  They also displayed no small measure of technical expertise.  The second quick response was by the actors and actresses that came to the defense of Sony, in general, and Angelina Jolie, specifically.  If there was a red ICBM fire command button located in Hollywood with the missiles aimed at North Korea, someone would have pushed it!  Some of the idiotic comments that came from Hollywood celebrities concerning this event were priceless.  The media took great efforts to suppress the stupidity.  It was indeed entertaining.

Another example of slow?  Do you recognize the names of Nadal Hassan and Dzhokhar Tamerlan?  I know you would instantly recognize them if I mentioned Fort Hood shooter and Boston bomber.  Yup.  These are them.  Nadal Hassan, an American citizen born in the US, killed 13 military personnel and wounded 30 others on November 5, 2009.  His court martial finally took place four years later, without much fanfare and little publicity.  As a matter of fact, I was unaware it had taken place.  He was found guilty on August 23, 2013, and sentenced to death on August 28, 2013.  It took almost four years to try this monster for killing thirteen people!

The jury is still out on Tamerlan, as it has not yet convened.  Tamerlan and his brother took the April 15, 2013, occasion of Patriot Day in Boston to set off a bomb filled with ball bearings inside a pressure cooker.  Three people were killed and 264 wounded.  Many of these wounded were injured seriously, as many of them lost one or two limbs.  So here we go again.  Two terroristic activities that should be cut and dried, but have taken forever and a day crawling their way through the judicial process.  Wouldn’t you think we would have passed laws after 9/11 that would have expedited the judicial process for terroristic acts?

Are we all tired of the gridlock in Washington, DC?  Time for a federal budget?  Time to address social welfare programs?  We were so tired of gridlock under the former congress that we voters gave the Republicans control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the last midterm election.   Last Tuesday, January 6, 2015,the new legislators were sworn into office.  Bill Maher, that great political pundit and part-time comedian, chided the new congress on Tuesday night for not having accomplished anything as of yet.  Now that would be fast!

But you do know who is speedier than a little bunny on steroids.  That would be our President, Barack Hussein Obama.  How fast is he?  He is so swift, that before one piece of legislation has been forwarded to him, he threatened on Wednesday, one day after the new congress was sworn in, to veto any legislation being proposed by the Republicans.  Now that is quick!  (Not to mention incredibly stupid!)  What are the principle issues causing the ‘veto’ threat?  The first is the proposal to proceed with the XL pipeline project.  As one senator pointed out, the XL pipeline proposal has been on the table longer than it took the United States to win World War II!  The second item of contention is the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare.  It appears the Republicans want to repeal the law.  It only took a majority to pass the act, but it will take 2/3 to repeal it.  Even if the numbers are there, Obama has threatened a veto.  After all, his name has now been associated with the act.  There are other issues that will be proposed by the new congress, but rest assured, the POTUS will put jet fuel in the inkwell of his ‘veto pen’.

But wait – there’s more!  President Obama has not only placed the threat of vetoes on a fast track, he has also been on the fast track in issuing executive orders  since the midterm election.  Realizing that congress would be controlled by the Republicans, he loaded up his executive order pen with rocket fuel!  Do you know how many executive orders the POTUS has issued between the midterm elections and the three months before the new congress convenes?  Two?  Three?  No, our over-achieving, fast-moving POTUS managed to squeeze in six executive orders before the new congress convened.  Does illegal immigration and amnesty ring a bell?  Now that’s prompt – and efficient!

So, I have come to the conclusion that speed can be attained when necessary, and slow can be attained when convenient.  In the meantime, if you were hoping for the government to achieve results with compromise and eliminating gridlock, you may once again experience an example of stagnant, feet-dragging inefficiency.

obama-at-no-time

American Media Goes Hog Wild

I have often said, “Retiring is tiring.”  So being a man of resolve, I, along with Grandma P, have just returned from a 20-day Caribbean cruise.  After all, when the going gets tough, the tough go cruising!  (I should copyright that as a bumper sticker.  It can’t be as bad as some of the other crappy bumper stickers that I have seen!)

We always have a wonderful time in all our little adventures.  This cruise was notable for two reasons:  Firstly, I again had to struggle with my BACON!!! addiction.  Secondly, I met some really great people from other countries.  It is interesting to converse with a non-American on their opinions about the United States.

First the addiction.

I blame Princess Cruise Lines for enabling my bacon-aholic addiction!  While going through the breakfast line, the first thing you do after washing your hands is take a plate.  So far, so good.  Then you let your senses kick into warp drive!  The first sense would be smell.  And what is the first thing you smell?  Bacon!  Next, the visual senses are stimulated.  Looking two feet past the plate pile, I see  a  large pan filled of corned beef hash.  I love corned beef hash, but I can pass it up.  So far, so good.  The next  large pan contains fried potatoes.  I love potatoes, but I can pass it up.  So far, so good. At this point, I am feeling good about my ability to resist calorie-laden, carbohydrate-driven temptations.   Maybe I won’t gain any weight on this cruise after all?  And then…….and then………..there it is.  The dreaded, yet highly anticipated third large pan.  Three feet past the plate pile.  Mounds and pounds of bacon!  I’m screwed.  So much for resisting carbohydrate-caloric temptation!  Any thoughts of maintaining or losing weight on this cruise just went out the door along with the next largest hole in my expanding belt.  This must be the reason for the expression ‘hog wild’!  How could Princess Cruise Lines be so cruel?

But wait!  Isn’t this America?  I can’t possibly be held accountable for my bacon-aholic addiction.  It must be someone else’s fault.  Where is that government program when I need it?  The government is not readily available on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  Then who is to blame?  Whom can I hold accountable?  My intellectual acuteness finally adjusts to the real culprit.  Princess Cruise Lines!  It has to be their fault!  So my next step was to use my persuasive powers to coerce Princess to take responsibility for my addiction.

Here is how the conversation unfolded at the passenger assistance desk.

“Hi.  My name is Grandpa T, and I am a bacon-aholic.”

“What can we do for you, Grandpa T”

“Could you burn the bacon a little, so that it does not smell as good?” (I thought this to be a reasonable request.)

“No.”

“Can you relocate the large pan containing the mounds and pounds of bacon at least six decks away just prior to me coming to the buffet?  It would be out of my way in the library, as no one uses that room anyway.”

“No.”

“Could you organize a chapter of ‘bacon-aholic anonymous’ on the ship?”

“What would be anonymous about people who are 60 pounds overweight, drooling over a pile of bacon?  They are pretty easy to differentiate from the slender yogurt-and-fruit-junkies.”

Damn it.  Foiled again by sound reasoning.  I hate it when that happens!  OK.  I did not have a conversation with Princess Cruise Lines about my bacon-aholic addiction – but if I did, I suspect it would have gone down just like that.

Australians, Canadians and the Welsh.

I met some really interesting and intelligent people from other countries on this cruise.  David and Petra were from Australia.  Catherine and Keith were from Wales.  Jeffrey and Claire currently live in Canada, but they have lived all over the world.  This made for a great trivia team, as well as for interesting conversation.  Gail was from Illinois.  This, too, made for some interesting conversation.

What we had available on our ship for outside information was an in-room TV that had two financial channels, two ESPN channels, the BBC, and Fox News.  There were also some other shopping/travel/shipboard channels.  That was it.  The one thing we were missing was any local  TV channel.  These are the channels that give you the good news taking place in your area or in the country.  Apparently, it is against media ethics to show positive things happening in the world in general, and in the US, in particular. (OK.  Fox News does televise some feel-good news items, but those were certainly overshadowed by other events.)

So what did our foreign friends observe on the TV?

Well, when we first got on the ship in mid-November, the two big news topics were the Ferguson grand jury still being in deliberation and the fact that the POTUS just announced that he was circumventing an inert Congress and was going to use executive order to grant amnesty to 1.5 million illegal aliens.  Add to this mix the story about one economist, Jonathan Gruber.  You remember Jon-Boy?  He was the Obamacare consultant that stated that Obamacare would not have been passed if it were not for the “stupidity of the American voter.”

So there you have it.  The dominating new headlines were: Ferguson grand jury, illegal immigration Executive order, and a government consultant calling the American electorate stupid.  Do you see anything positive for the good ole US of A concerning any of these news items?  What would you have thought if you were a non-American.  I can only surmise that they were quietly happy that they were not Americans.  After all, Australia, Canada and Wales were not experiencing such disasters and embarrassment in in their countries.

Now we are a little further into the cruise.  Obama is being fried over his executive order.  As was poignantly pointed out, he had overstepped his presidential authority.  He said he had not overstepped his authority.  The Ping-Pong game of blame begins.

(As an aside, I pointed out in my last blog that I was fearful as to what both the POTUS and Congress would do before the Republican-controlled Congress was seated on January 5.  I did not think any action such as this executive order would take place so quickly.)

Jonathan Gruber becomes a media sensation.  The White House denies knowing him, even though he received about $500,000 for consulting on the proposed Affordable Health Care Act.  There is documentation that he visited the White House 19 times.  Nancy Pelosi denies knowing him even though there are pictures of her and Gruber together.  Gruber’s name is specifically mentioned by Obama and Pelosi during speeches, but they still deny knowing him.  He is videotaped making the statement about the ‘stupidity of the American voter.’

The tar pots are being heated!  There are chickens being plucked all over America to assure we don’t run out of feathers and KFC doesn’t run out of chicken!  So what happens next as we are further into our cruise?  There was only one salvation that took Jonathan Gruber and the Illegal immigration executive order off the front page of the news networks – the timely Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision!

There it was.  In all its blazing (no pun intended) glory.  A good, old fashioned burning and looting demonstration conducted by some of America’s finest citizens.  How convenient for the POTUS to have this occur as the heat was being turned up both on his executive order and his association with Jonathan Gruber.

America’s democratic and judicial systems were laid bare for the entire world to see.  According to the POTUS himself, we are a nation of laws.  Apparently that does not apply if you disagree with the law.  It must not apply when you don’t want to support the people that enforce our laws.

Who, in their right mind thought for one second that there was not going to be rioting/looting in Ferguson regardless of the decision?  That is called civil disobedience.  I certainly assumed there would  be.  Apparently the POTUS did not.  Because much as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, the POTUS really did nothing to alleviate the building tensions in Ferguson.  Hasn’t he claimed to be the ‘unification’ president?  I believe this country is more racist now than it has been for the last 50 years.  (Gruber may be on to something about American stupidity.  We conveniently forget about what comes first – the crime or the arrest!)

Here is what our leader should have said: “The loss of any young life is a tragedy.  But, we are a nation of laws, and we must let these laws work to preserve our great society.  In this instance, a grand jury has been diligently working to assure that justice is being served.  Regardless of the outcome, all Americans can be assured that all evidence was evaluated, all witnesses have testified, and all professional authorities have been heard regarding this case.  Therefore, I call on all Americans to maintain peace and civility during these emotional times.  Civil disobedience, terrorism, looting, rioting and the destruction of property are uncalled for and will not be tolerated.” (The reason I mention terrorism, is that some idiot burnt his hand while trying to light and throw a Molotov cocktail!  That pretty much moves this event from a demonstration to terrorism!)

Did you hear anything from our President that sounded anything like what I just wrote?  Unfortunately, I did not, either.

Now the end of the cruise is nearing.  The destructive scenes of the damage done in Ferguson are shown on BBC and FOX.  There are scenes of lesser destruction in other US cities.  Most of this additional destruction was sanctioned by agitators, such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and even by our POTUS due to his convenient inaction and lack of law enforcement support following the initial Ferguson events.

What did my foreign friends think as we got off the ship in Florida?  I can only surmise that they were happy to be returning to their own respective countries.  Y’all come back now, ya hear?  Things can only get better.

GOP

Midterm Election Results – Who are the Real Winners and Losers?

I, Grandpa T, am taking full credit for the Republican victories in the November 4th midterm elections!

OK, I did not have anything to do with it.  But if Al Gore can claim inventing the internet, Barrack Obama can claim you could keep your old health insurance policies and George H.W. Bush can claim “no new taxes,”  I should be able to get at least a little credit for this election.

There are no shortage of articles being published or ‘talking heads’ on TV giving their assessments of what went right and what went wrong for both parties.

This article is about an outsider’s opinion as to who are the winners and losers.

Winner – Republicans

If you are going by sheer numbers alone, the Republicans had a great election.  There were 51 new Republican candidate winners and 17 new Democratic candidate winners.  This would be considered a rout if it were a football score:  51-17.

I view this impressive victory as being similar to an oreo cookie.  The top layer represents the existing 113th Congress.  This Congress, the Congress with the lowest approval rating since ratings were initiated in 1974, still has until January 3, 2015 to reign mayhem upon the public.   There are already rumors about ‘ramrodding’ some Democratic nominations while the opportunity still presents itself.  The POTUS, with the prospect of a Republican-controlled Congress after the first of the year, has publicly stated he will initiate immigration reform using the Executive Action excuse.  No doubt this will be done to make that new Congress look mean and evil for not wanting to grant amnesty to about two million illegal aliens.   As of this writing, the Washington ‘three ring circus’ will still be functioning for about another eight weeks.

The middle layer of the oreo cookie is the impressive number of Republican victories.  The Republicans gained thirteen seats in the House of Representatives and won enough senatorial seats to take control of the Senate.  The greatest achievement from gaining control of the senate?  Getting rid of Harry Reid as the House Majority leader!  Harry Reid – the person who has single handedly stonewalled democracy by using his status as the ‘gatekeeper to hell.’  Nothing was presented to our US Senate for either debate or vote, unless Harry allowed it.  (A reported 382 bills, passed by the House of Representatives, are allegedly sitting on his desk!  He will not bring them to the Senate floor for consideration!)  He said in 2008 that while he was Senate Majority leader, no US budget would be discussed, approved, or voted on.  He is a man of his word.  Not one budget has been approved for the largest economy in the world for all of Obama’s term of presidency because of Harry.  I was hoping he would lose his position as senate minority leader.  But Harry, ever diligent, always thirsting power, has decided he wants to continue as Senate Minority Leader, no doubt hoping for a comeback in 2016.  If you want a person to point a finger at for the fact that the 113th Congress has been ineffective, Harry would be a damn good target.

The bottom layer of my oreo cookie is that we are now an ‘instantaneous’ society.  Everything has to be quick (ie texting, email, microwave ovens, Instagram) and the results have to be quick.  By the way, Grandpa T has no idea what Instagram is, but the very name implies instant!  We have become a society that does not allow any grass to grow under our feet.  We won’t wait that long.  So, we will now expect the new Congress, that Congress we just voted into Washington, to provide us with instantaneous results in exchange for our votes.  There is only one major flaw with these expectations for the new 114th Congress.  They all get sworn in, find their offices, get their pens and pencils in the right slots in the right drawers, hire their staffs, find housing, get their kids in school, meet their peers, and then get to work.  How long do you think it takes to get acclimated as a newbie in Washington, D.C.?  Lets say, for the purposes of argument, that it will take six months to become fully acclimated.  Reasonable?  So now that they are all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to legislate everything that is good and honorable for the good of the old United States of America, what happens next?  WE BEGIN ANOTHER ELECTION CYCLE!  Unlike Great Britain, which allows only 6 weeks for election campaigning (how heavenly would that be?!), our 2016 election year will begin early – especially since it is a presidential election year.  This campaigning will be long, expensive and distracting.  My point to all of this?  How much can we really expect these people to accomplish in the midst of the upcoming election campaigns?  The onus will be on the Republicans to perform regardless.  Thus the bottom layer of the oreo cookie.

Loser – Democrats

We are all familiar with the numbers and the results.  What we don’t take into consideration is that a promising younger generation of democrats got defeated and may never run for office again.  The downside to all of this?  We are stuck with the old democrats:  Hilary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi…..the list can go on and on.  I can remember when the accusations were that the Republicans were a bunch of fat-cat, cigar smoking, greedy rich guys.  Now that mantra is more befitting for the reigning democrats than for the republicans.

Winner – United States of America

Here are some of the demographics concerning the 68 new members of Congress.  Twelve have had prior military experience, nine Republicans and three Democrats.  (This is a far cry from the 70s when 80% of all Congressmen had prior military service!)  Thirteen of the newly elected Congress members are women, representing 20% of those elected.  Four of the newly elected are black women, three of whom are Democrats and one is a Republican.  Forty-one percent of all those new Congressmen are under the age of 50.

But here is what impresses me.  I am totally impressed by the character and demeanor of some of these incoming Congressmen.  I have heard the following three winners speak on TV, without teleprompter, and I have to say I am very enthusiastic about each of them.

The first person is Joni Ernst who was elected as the first female federal representative from Iowa.  What a woman!  She is a combat veteran having served 14 months in Kuwait.  She is currently a LTC in the Iowa National Guard.  What people do not know, as the media did not cover this, is that LTC Ernst was in uniform two days after winning the election, as she had to make up drill days lost during the campaign.  She believes in and supports a balanced budget amendment, free-market health care, gun rights, partial privatization of Social Security accounts and protection of accounts for seniors.  She opposes both cap and trade and a federal minimum wage.  It’s almost like she reads my blog!  She is educated, personable and very articulate.  If she sold stock in herself, I would be an investor!  I predict she will be a political ‘bright star’ in the future.

Another person that I have been extremely impressed by is Mia Love, the representative elect from Utah’s 4th congressional district.  She is a black woman of Haitian descent.  Interestingly, she was raised a Catholic but converted to the Mormon religion.  Her political beliefs are for fiscal discipline, limited government, personal responsibility, domestic energy exploration, gun rights, and is pro-life.  My infatuation with Ms. Love began when some ignorant reporter asked her if she got elected because ‘she was black.’  Her response?   “I did not get elected because I was black.  I got elected because I represent the values of the people of the State of Utah.”  Kapow!  Another ignorant reporter that got cut off at the knees.  Ms. Love is also educated and articulate.  I predict a ‘bright star’ in her future as well.

Tim Scott won his first term as the Republican senator for the State of South Carolina after being appointed in 2013 by the Governor to fill the vacated seat of Jim DeMint.  Did I mention that Tim Scott is a black man?  Mr. Scott previously served as US Representative for the first congressional district.  This made him the first black representative from South Carolina since 1897!  Senator Scott supports a balanced budget amendment, repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act, and an immigration policy similar to that of the State of Arizona.  He, like the two others that impressed me, is both educated and articulate.  If you hear him speak, you can’t help but be dazzled.

I believe that both Love and Scott are going to be political nightmares for the Democratic party.  Why?  Because they, as well as some of the other newly elected black Congressmen, present a far better, more promising role model for black society than the old gang of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters.  With the Democrats continually using ‘class warfare,’ ‘rich versus poor’,  and other discriminating rhetoric to pander their ‘us versus them’ mantra, the last thing the Democrats want to see is successful, articulate, conservative minorities!

I am optimistic, that with the elections of Love and Scott, America may have grown up and decided that they will not vote for someone just because of the color of their skin.

Martin Luther King said it best: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Senator Scott and Ms. Love have both aced the character test.  America Wins!